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Coronavirus: Ontario begins phased reopening Wednesday, majority of regions to remain in lockdown

CA, 09 Feb 2021
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott on Monday announced that the province would begin a phased reopening starting Feb. 10 as COVID-19 numbers begin to fall.

Elliott said the current stay-at-home order would remain in place in much of the province but over the course of the month, public health units would move to regional restrictions based on public health indicators.

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health, and Renfrew County and District Health Unit will move into the province’s previous colour-coded framework on Wednesday. She said on Feb. 16, all other health units except for Toronto, Peel and York will move into the framework, with the final three regions lifting the stay-at-home order on Feb. 22.

Ford also announced the declaration of emergency would not be extended past Feb. 9 and the province would be changing its original framework to allow non-essential businesses to reopen with restrictions, such as capacity limits, even in "Grey - Lockdown" zones.

The premier and health minister also spoke about a new "emergency brake" measure that would allow the province to respond should a region see a spike in cases or a COVID-19 variant begin to spread, saying they would be able to swiftly move the region back to the "Grey - Lockdown" level of restrictions. Ford also advised that the "emergency brake" would only allow for a move to the grey level and would not implement a stay-at-home order.

On Monday, Ontario reported 1,265 cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 279,472.

Thirty-three additional deaths were also reported on Monday, bringing the provincial death toll to 6,538.

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